Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today said the government is making all out efforts in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack to ensure security of the coastal regions of the country. Addressing the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry in New Delhi, he said, there has been a sea-change in the government’s approach to coastal security after this tragic incident. Shri Antony said the government is giving top priority to modernization of shipyards so that state-of-the –art warships can be built indigenously to global standards in the most transparent manner. He said, in future, all vessels of the Indian Navy will be built indigenously and the private sector will play a crucial role in this endeavour.
“ To be comparable with the best global shipyards, we must keep a high premium on the quality of the delivered products. Our market share in global ship building must be improved substantially on a priority basis. Our shipyards have no option, but to build state of the art infrastructure for constructing high technology warships and submarines”, he said.
Giving details of the modernization plans currently being carried out in Mazagon Dock Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited and Goa Shipyard Limited, Shri Antony said, these include human resource development, important components for upgradation and diversification of ship building infrastructure and implementing state of the art management tools and techniques. He said, recently, Hindustan Shipyard Limited has been transferred from the Ministry of Shipping to the Department Defence Production and a modernization programme for HSL will be finalized soon. He said the first phase of the modernization plan will be completed by the first half of 2011.
Shri Antony said, in recent years, the MoD has been able to ensure improved results in the delivery of warships and submarines. During 2009-2010, these numbers stood at 120 vessels for the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and coastal states. In the current financial year, 85 vessels have already been delivered and by March 2011, a total of 127 vessels will be delivered.
Cutting across party lines, the Members of Parliament appreciated the role of MoD in galvanizing the modernization process. The Members of Parliament who attended today’s meeting included Shri HK Dua, Shri Navin Jindal, Shri Manish Tiwari, Shri Piyus Goyal, Shri Gajanan Dharmshi Babar, Shri Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Shri Sudip Bandyopadhyaya, Shri NSV Chitthan, Shri Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, Shri Gopal Singh Shekhawat and Shri Ramachandra Khuntia. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju, the Defence Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar, the Secretary Defence Production, Shri RK Singh, Scietific Adviser to Raksha Mantri Dr VK Saraswat, senior officials of the MoD and the Defence Shipyards.
The Members of Parliament and the officials greeted the announcement of Shri Antony about the success of DRDO in testing two Prithvi missiles within an hour’s gap earlier in the day. Sitanshu Kar
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